(Editor’s Note: In the context of the ongoing criminalization, repression and dispossession of Indigenous peoples, the communities that make up the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán (CSIM) have announced they will block five federal highways today June 28th in the Purépecha plateau. The communique below gives context to this criminalization, repression and dispossession, along with the ongoing unwillingness of the state to abide by agreements reached with the Indigenous communities. It lays out s series of demands including respect for the free self-determination of Indigenous communities).
The Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán (CSIM) is autonomous and independent of governments, political parties and religious orders. We are made up of civil, communal and traditional authorities of the Indigenous communities of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Caltzontzin, San Felipe de los Herreros, Cocucho, Zirahuén, Apo del Rosario, Capácuaro, Huecorio, San Ángel Zurumucapio. Jicalán, Tahuejo, Zopoco, Pamatácuaro, Sicuicho, Cuanajo, Sevina, San Andrés Tziróndaro, Jucutacato, Corupo, Angahuan, Carapan, Rancho Seco, Comachuén, Paracho, Santa Ana, Cheranástico, Naranja de Tapia, San Benito, San Antonio, Aranza, Tirindaro, Agua Verde, Quinceo, Tomendan, Nuevo Zirosto, Condembaro, La Tinaja, Urapicho, Turián Bajo, Santa Rosa, Arato, Pomacuarán, Ahuirán, Sirimicuaro and Etúcuaro. As a Council we present the following:
Amidst the general context of repression, criminalization, discrimination and dispossession of Indigenous communities, the lack of genuineness, commitment and the ongoing non-compliance on part of the state, and for the breaking of agreements signed by the Federal and State Governments along with Public Institutions, the CSIM mobilizes in a general manner, through peaceful and orderly protest in our ancestral territories.
In the first place, we apologize to the people of Michoacán for the demonstrations, but the Mexican state has left us no other option. They have systematically and historically ignored and marginalized the Indigenous peoples and communities. For which we present the following:
List of Demands
1. To the Mexican state, we demand an end to the repression and criminalization of Indigenous communities. We declare that, before whatever repressive action against our communities, the CSIM will take highways in an orderly and peaceful manner to prevent the criminalization of Indigenous peoples and communities.
2. To the National Electoral Institute and the Electoral Institute of Michoacán, we demand that you respect the free self-determination of Indigenous communities that will not permit the installation of voting booths on July 1st. We hold you directly responsible for any act of provocation or electoral political confrontation in the communities of Santa Fe de la Laguna, San Felipe de los Herreros, Aranza, Zopoco, San Benito, Sevina, Cocucho and Nahuatzen.
3. To the Federal Government, we declare the complete rejection of the 10 decrees emitted by the head of the Federal Executive opening the door for the privatization of 40% of the watersheds of the county, and 55% of the surface waters of the nation. We demand that these decrees be repealed because not one Indigenous community was consulted, violating our right to free, previous and informed consultation regarding public policy that affects us.
4. To the State Government, we demand the construction of a work of high impact for Indigenous communities, and the fulfillment of the agreements signed regarding agrarian conflicts, land, housing, social development and security, since the state functionaries are not complying with the agreements reached with Indigenous communities.
5. We do not know Humberto Alonzo Razo, head of the State Commission for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples. As interlocuter with the Indigenous communities, he is attempting to divide the communities and the institution beneath his command is a white elephant that only serves to pay bureaucratic salaries. Equally, we demand that the Michoacán government open a resolution working group with the delegate of the National Forest Commission and the Federal Commission of Electricity to resolve the payment of concurrent environmental services to 24 Indigenous communities.
6. Finally, we declare that we are against and we will not permit the installation of the toll-booth in Tzicuindio, near the Ajuno Bridge.
June 28th, 2018